Travers Smith PE star leaves for US rival

Dechert recruits big talent for its new Singapore office; Mayer Brown beefs up its real estate practice; and other private fund lawyer moves. 

• Another US-based law firm recruited top UK private equity talent when Phil Sanderson stepped down from his role as head of Travers Smith’s London private equity team to join Ropes & Gray. His arrival brings the number of Ropes’ London-based private equity team to 20.

• Meanwhile Marc Berger, previously chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, is stepping down to join Ropes & Gray’s New York office.

• Kirkland & Ellis M&A partner Jason Osborn left the firm to join Jenner & Block’s Chicago office.

• Dechert is opening a Singapore office to complement its sister Asia offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. To lead the expansion, Dechert recruited leading funds lawyer Dean Collins from US rival O’Melveny & Myers. Collins specializes in private equity, real estate, venture capital and hedge fund matters in Asia.

• Willkie Farr hired Claire McDaid and Matthew Dean to launch a private equity practice in London. Both were previously with Kirkland & Ellis. Dean focuses on fund formations, buyouts, financings and venture capital investments while McDaid specializes in cross-border private equity deals.

• M&A lawyer Jeff Legault left Reed Smith to join Mayer Brown’s New York practice.

• Mae Shan Chong, a cross-border M&A specialist, joined Jones Day as a Singapore-based partner. She was previously with White & Case.

• Fund formation specialist Johan Terblanche joined Dechert’s Luxembourg office. He was previously with Loyens & Loeff.

• Marc Shapiro and Jill Block have joined Mayer Brown’s real estate practice as partners in New York. Both were previously with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

• Connecticut-based law firm Martin named John Capetta as head of its private equity practice. He previously held a similar role with Kelley Drye & Warren.

• Cooley named Pang Lee as partner in its global private investment funds group. Lee, who was previously with Shearman & Sterling, will work out of the firm's Shanghai office.

• Perkins Coie recruited Arman Pahlavan for its Palo Alto office, where he will focus on venture capital and private equity deals and fund formation work. He was previously with Squire Patton Boggs.

• Mark Roppel left Allen & Overy to join DLA Piper’s New York office. Roppel is a cross-border M&A specialist with a particular focus on China deals.

Know of any private fund lawyer career moves we might have missed? If so, email pfm editor Nicholas Donato at